Only 5 percent of homes are affordable on King County teachers' salary

by: Natasha Chen Updated:

SEATTLE - New research shows only 5.1 percent of homes being sold in King County are affordable on an average teacher’s base salary.

Using data from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the average base salary of teachers across King County districts is $50,977.50.

Local real estate agency Redfin used a general guideline that when buying a home, a monthly payment should not exceed 28 percent of gross monthly income. On an annual salary of about $50,977.50, a King County teacher should pay no more than about $1,189 a month.

According to Redfin, a teacher on that income can afford a $180,000 single-family home or condo. Just 5.1 percent of the 3,278 homes for sale in King County are listed below $180,000.

Redfin attributes the lack of affordability to historically low inventory compared to previous years, seasonally low inventory and lower teacher salaries, compared to places like California.

Across the state of California, an average teacher’s salary can buy only 17 percent of listed homes. In the city of San Francisco, there isn’t a single house on the market that a teacher can afford on the average local salary.

In King County, the following affordability percentages are based on the county’s average base teacher salary:

Total homes
for sale
Percent
affordable
Auburn  209 7.7%
Bellevue 177 0.0%
Bothell 47 6.4%
Enumclaw 44 0.0%
Federal Way 135 14.1%
Issaquah 72 1.4%
Kenmore 32 0.0%
Kent 165 13.9%
Kirkland 170 1.8%
Maple Valley 52 0.0%
Mercer Island 60 0.0%
Redmond 128 3.9%
Renton 233 4.7%
Sammamish 96 0.0%
Seattle 950 2.2%
Shoreline 66 7.6%
Snoqualmie 60 3.3%
Tukwila 31 6.5%
Woodinville 58 0.0%
King County 3,278 5.1%